My 12-year-old stepson, Lewis, whose favorite band is Green Day, had never heard Pink Floyd before. I'm not sure how he's managed this — his grandfather plays in a Pink Floyd tribute band for goodness sake. So I thought we could sit down one rainy evening, have him listen hard to 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon and pass the verdict of a new generation on one of the most iconic albums of the 20th century.
It was an auspicious beginning; when he was informed the album would be 45 minutes long, he responded, "Forty-five minutes?! Are there like 20 songs on it?" I replied that no, there were nine, and he seemed genuinely horrified. I think the days of listening to an album in order, all the way through, might be on their way out. Then when the album started, he kept turning it up because he didn't understand why the album started out silent.
Oh, dear. Welcome to '70s prog, Lewis.
The Dark Side of the Moon
"Speak To Me/Breathe"
"Interesting." (said in a very skeptical voice)
"On the Run"
"Is there a war on or something?"
"A proper song! It took three songs to get to a real song! It's about bloody time." (He really did say that.)
"The Great Gig in the Sky"
"What's going on? I don't understand Pink Floyd."
"The backing music was kind of nice, and it suited the screaming lady. Wasn't that bad."
"What's the deal with all these intros?"
"How is money a crime?!"
"I was a little bit bored. I wasn't like, 'Oh, this is a good song.' It's just an OK song. I've heard better and heard worse."
"Us and Them"
"This seems like the kind of song they'd have in a posh restaurant."
"Any Colour You Like"
"Speechless. It was just too crazy. It's like somebody in a crazy asylum getting gradually more sane but then relapsing into even more crazy."
"The music was pretty good, it all came together. I liked the backup singers, they were good."
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"Started off pretty well. I thought it was going to go on though, and it didn't. So it ended very badly. Why did they end it there?"
Lewis' overall verdict?
"BAD. I would only recommend this if it was the last CD left on Earth and all other music had been destroyed. It did have good parts, but it was mainly bad. I'm sad now. That was not a good album. It was a waste of 45 minutes. I'd say it should be in the worst 10 records ever made, not one of the 10 best. It was at least better than Justin Bieber, but that's not hard."
Ouch. Still, this will all change when he goes to college.